One of the 3 students killed in North Carolina made a heartbreaking recording just a few months ago.

On Feb. 10, 2015, three young people were senselessly shot to death in their hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


One of the victims was Yusor Abu-Salha, a 21-year-old recent graduate of N.C. State University.


Yusor had married her high school sweetheart, Deah Barakat, just two months earlier. She had moved to Chapel Hill to live with him while he attended dental school.

He was also killed in the shooting.

Yusor and Deah had known each other since elementary school, where they had the same third-grade teacher. That teacher was Sister Mussarut Jabeen.

A few months before the tragedy, Yusor and Sister Jabeen visited StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization that records ordinary Americans interviewing each other about their lives.

It would be one of the last times her voice was ever recorded.

The first part is the interview Yusor and Sister Jabeen gave in early 2014. In it, Yusor talks about how grateful she was to have been raised in the United States.

"Growing up in America has been such a blessing. And although in some ways I do stand out, such as, you know, the hijab, the head covering, there's still so many ways I feel so embedded that is the fabric that is our culture. Here we're all one." — Yusor Abu-Salha

She also recalls a fond memory from Sister Jabeen's class.

"I still remember in 3rd grade when we'd ask for something, you used to say, 'Don't put your hand like this.' You'd have your hand facing downwards as if you're taking something from someone. And then you'd flip your hand over and you'd open your hand up as a giving gesture ... Be giving. Open. Compassionate." — Yusor Abu-Salha

Sister Jabeen had wonderful memories of Yusor too, and she was delighted that she had married Deah, one of her other students.

"I just remember Deah, when he was growing up, he was getting taller, and because I'm a short person, he would stand behind me and put his hand over my head. And I just told him, 'Deah, you can never outgrow my heart.'" — Mussarut Jabeen

Sister Jabeen came back to StoryCorps just days after Yusor was killed to record the very end of the piece. In it, she gives a lovely, bittersweet tribute to her former student.

"I would like people to know her and remember her as a practicing Muslim, as a daughter, and above all, as a good human being. When we write our comments on report cards, we say they 'exceeded our expectations.' She exceeded our expectations." — Mussarut Jabeen

Rest in peace.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Photo courtesy of John Scully

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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